BLOOMFIELD, NJ — So what happened with the snow forecast for this past weekend? Was there anything to plow in Bloomfield? And even with the wind howling on Monday, nary a fallen township tree to saw up and haul away. What are they doing over at Public Works anyway?
“We got lucky,” said Anthony Nesto, the director of Department of Public Works and Parks. “No trees came down. I was shocked. It shows what happens when they are not in leaf. The wind goes right through the branches.”
Having no snow is an OK sign, too. Without it, Nesto said winter is not so bad.
“We have extra guys,” he said. “We have two or three patrols, of two guys each, cleaning the curb line by hand.”
There are also Christmas trees needing to be picked up and even bags of leaves. Public Works sends out two or three dump trucks for these.
“We still have to go into the parks and clean up,” Nesto said. “The sewer truck still goes out. Sewer calls are up during freezing weather.”
This is because, he said, the cold can make sewer fluids move more slowly.
The department’s trailer/office for most of the personnel is getting a little rehab now, too. Floor tiles are being replaced, painting is being done, etc.
“That trailer is 17 years old,” Nesto said.
The good weather has also given him the opportunity to have an extra guy working in the maintenance shop. And with no snow, there is a lot less overtime and wear-and-tear on machinery. That’s a plus. But let’s not kid ourselves. Snow is out there.
Some of it was anticipated this past weekend. So on Saturday, Public Works salted the entire town. But it rained. Nesto said there was then a crucial three-hour period before temperatures were to turn freezing. Conference calls with the township administrator, the mayor and the police were made. The rain drained away before the thermometer dropped and there was no widespread freeze-up.
“We got lucky,” Nesto said.
Then after the rain stopped, the department spot-salted on Sunday.
“We did pretty good,” Nesto said. “We were programmed. It was a team effort and the weather cooperated.”
The forecast is for temperatures in the 40s later in the week. Nesto’s tree guys will be out pruning.
“Every day we play with the weather,” he said.